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Warm up with chocolate

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Holiday shopping can be exhausting. And in Port Townsend, when the wind blows down Water Street and drizzle begins to fall, it can be cold, too.

To take a break and to rest your feet from searching for a perfect gift, you can sit down for a cup of steaming hot chocolate. The sweetness can bring back your strength, and the warmth can defrost your fingers. The chocolate can bring you a bit of holiday cheer.

While there are many places to get hot drinks, The Leader collected a list of some of the best off-the-beaten-path hot cocoa you can find.

Elevated Ice Cream
Known for its homemade ice cream, one wouldn’t expect to find a delicious cup of hot cocoa at Elevated Ice Cream. But their “Special Elevated Hot Chocolate” lives up to its name.

“We don’t make it from a mix,” said Mahina Gelderloos, who works at Elevated. “We’ve got chocolate chips and finely ground chocolate, which is like a cocoa powder but actually is chocolate, and we mix it with steamed milk.”

Topped with a dash of chocolate sprinkles, Elevated’s hot cocoa is thick, chocolaty and delicious. And if your sweet tooth isn’t satisfied, you can always get a scoop of ice cream to go. Elevated Ice Cream is located at 631 Water St.

Courtyard Cafe
Courtyard Cafe’s hot chocolate is delicious, and it’s made even more special with homemade marshmallows. Cut into a square and gently toasted on top, the marshmallow melts delightfully in the steaming cup of chocolate.

“It’s like making candy,” said Courtyard owner Heidi Drewry, explaining how she boils together ingredients to make her marshmallows, then uses a mixer to make them fluffy.

Using Ghiradelli chocolate to make the hot cocoa, Drewry asks her customers what kind of marshmallow they want on top. She makes all different flavors, including vanilla, peppermint, coconut and strawberry. Courtyard Cafe is located at 230 Quincy St.

Lehani’s Deli & Coffee
Lehani’s chocolates are to die for, and the shop offers a perfect cup of hot cocoa as well. The trick at Lehani’s is to order your hot cocoa with dark chocolate, and if you want something even more special, ask for a bit of vanilla syrup, too. Their molded chocolates also make for a great gift, so you can get some holiday shopping done at the same time. Lehani’s is located at 221 Taylor St.

Don’s Pharmacy and Soda Fountain
A hidden gem, most tourists will walk by Don’s without knowing the pharmacy has a soda fountain in the back where they serve up milkshakes, malts, burgers and fries, and so much more. They also serve a mean cup of cocoa. If you’re killing time before you catch a ferry, Don’s is a place to go to warm up. Don’s Pharmacy and Soda Fountain is located at 1151 Water St.

Aldrich’s Market
There are so many more shops uptown to check off all your holiday errands. But walking up the stairs to get to the uptown shops can wear you out. Stop by Aldrich’s and walk to the back, where their deli is, for a delicious cup of hot cocoa. Their hot chocolate is made with Ghirardelli chocolate. Ask for whipped cream on top, and pair it with one of their house-made goodies, such as shortbread or a chocolate zucchini muffin. Aldrich’s Market is located at 940 Lawrence St.

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